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Help! Larger smoker: PBC Junior vs Weber kettle+SNS???

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    That's great. Just remember that you can get great cooks without tryin' to hold a specific temp. As long as the temp is in the range of 225° to 275°, don't sweat it. Just make small changes as the temp approaches either end of that range. You will have a lot less anxiety that way, and the beer will taste much better if yur not worryin'.


    • patcrail
      patcrail commented
      Editing a comment
      I hear you, brother, and mostly agree 💯, but now and then I want to go closer to 200 or as high as 325 depending on what I’m cooking and how, that’s why I skipped the PBC for now... I really want one I’m my arsenal, but only being able to afford one, I chose the flexibility of the Kettle... look forward to getting a PBC one day and doing hanging cooks

    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      patcrail - I was just talkin' low and slow. I do go higher for other cooks.

    • patcrail
      patcrail commented
      Editing a comment
      RonB , there are times I want to control the temp on low n slow cooks, as well, and it does make a big difference. For example, the temps can really affect bark formation. On a small cut like a 2 lb chuckle, it seems like starting at 275-300, then slowly dropping to 200-225 produces a much nicer bark than smoking the whole time at say, 250..., & the inverse with smoke rings, so I want that control to help improve my cooks. It’ll be great without all that, but I’m trying to improve every cook

    Limitations aside, I’m very happy I started out on a Smokey Joe (as opposed to something bigger) right off the bat when FINALLY learning to cook the right way! Dealing with the small size thought me tons about fire management & temperature control, and I believe that laid a damned good foundation to grow on! I understand many of the basics now after learning how to control this thing for everything from strips/ribeyes up to 10 hour slow cooks (& a lot in between).... I understand temp control isn’t a big factor, within reason, with the PNC and other drum coolers, but learning to control this little baby and seeing the effects of cooking temp on meat has forced me to really learn my cooks! And some great brothers on here have really coached me! Mr. BonesTroutman , and everyone else, thanks!
    Really looking forward to learning & upping my game with all of yas!


    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      Yer quite welcome, Brother!

      Ya been doin some Really Cool cooks on th ol SJS, Nice Job!

    Christmas in July! The SNS & the meat just arrived, & the 22” Weber will be here tomorrow! Plenty of meat to break her in with this weekend! Got rib cap steaks for tomorrow night’s break-in cook, and the first low n slow will be Pigsket on Saturday!
    Attached Files


      Porter Road Pork Brisket is TINY! Advertised as 1,25-2,25 lb, but they are usually in the middle, so I was guessing 1.5-2lb....
      it is 1.08lb!! Below the minimum, not sure it’s even thick enough to have any decent meat in the middle, might have to roll... or maybe, maybe, just get all bark and smoke ring???
      I don’t know, kinda shocked, first disappointment from them, and they’re shipping another out, so we’ll see...


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          I have a Jumbo Joe that I have made numerous modifications to so that I can use it in a variety of ways. As it was intended, a great portable grill, or as a bullet smoker, with or without water "bowl". Here are the modifications I have made.
          1) Added a long threaded bolt attached to the vent adjustment on the bottom making it easier to adjust the vent
          2) Cut a 1 gallon can (from jalapeno peppers) so that I could put it over the bottom vents, keeping them from getting blocked by ash during long cooks. I used JB Weld to make the can permanent so it doesn't slide around.
          3) Used the top of the same can as a water bowl placed on the charcoal grill directly over the can that is over the bottom vents. This can is not permanently attached so it can be used right side up as a water pan during long smokes or up side down as a "spacer" for the charcoal around it so that I can use a single weber cube to light one side of the charcoal and it will burn in a circle, like a charcoal snake.
          4) Bought 2 additional cooking grates with the "flip up" sides to cook on. This gives me two levels in the "bullet cooker" set up or I can use one in the more traditional way adding wood or charcoal as needed while cooking indirectly.
          5) Attached a 15 inch perforated pizza pan to the original cooking grate which I use as a heat diffuser when set up as a bullet smoker.
          6) Created a cylinder for the mid portion of a bullet smoker configuration using the instructions found here:
          The only difference was that where he used the 10 inch metal I used the 14 which gave me enough room for 2 cooking grates and enough height above the top grate to cook something like a turkey. By putting the metal sides together while it was on the Jumbo Joe with the cooking (diffuser) grate in place and the top pressed securely on the top I got a nearly air tight seal. When the thing is put together as a bullet smoker there is absolutely no smoke escaping anywhere other than the exhaust vents on the top. And it holds temperature amazingly well.

          It sounds like a lot of work, but it really wasn't. Most of the time was spent working on the two "cans." Once you get all the materials in place it could be done in a couple of hours.

          I will try and upload all the photos of the above items, but if they will not fit I will do it in two posts.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by KenC52; July 14, 2020, 05:09 PM.


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Very Cool! Thanks fer sharin this...

          • patcrail
            patcrail commented
            Editing a comment
            KenC52 I really do admire what you did there! Something I could really get into, but I’ve already committed to a bigger kettle and love it, does everything I need!

          KenC52 , looks like a hell of a cooker! Thanks, but I went with the Weber Premium 22” and the SNS Deluxe, and it works great for all my long cooks! I still go to the Smokey Joe for hot & fast for me & the wife, less charcoal... and I use the afterburner method for searing, so right now, I have everything I need in a cooker(s)... I like what you have there, though!


          • KenC52
            KenC52 commented
            Editing a comment
            Well I got invested in this project to create a more portable grill/smoker for my wife and I to use when we are traveling in our camper/trailer. This thing comes apart easily and I just toss it in the back of the pickup before we leave and I have everything we need for anything from steak to brisket. I don't use it when we are at home because I have too many other more permanent grills and smokers here.

          It’s one hell of a cooker! It’s just me & my wife, but when we camp or travel, I think my Smokey Joe will do whatever I need, BUT , I haven’t really tried that out yet.... I really like what you did there, so if SJ won’t do it, I’m gonna copy something very similar! Thanks!


            Forgot to mention that I also have a Smokey Joe Silver that I converted to a mini WSM using a tamale steamer pot. Lots of info on the internet about doing that. Works really well. Best chicken cooker I own. Just wasn't big enough for ribs or brisket and without the secured top for travel it just wasn't workable for our travels. Thus the Jumbo Joe.


              I know the thread is a little older, but I own a PBJ and I have kettle fever. I don't really tinker with the PBJ, but I use it as a charcoal grill a good bit because I don't have a kettle. I just put a T shaped cinder block in the bottom of the PBJ to raise the coal closer, and I leave the vent wide open with no rebar. It cooks fast and I easily pull the charcoal basket out with a garden hoe to drop it in a can to snuff the fire out. I can reuse the charcoal a good bit. I know the kettle has much more flexibility. Is it easy to deal with burning charcoal for future cooks?


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Most kettles have pretty tight vents, so if you shut them down, it chokes the fire down fairly quick, leaving some partially burned or potentially fully unburned charcoal for the next cook. I've not had any issues raking any ash out of the leftover coals, then relighting, adding fresh as needed to fill up my chimney.


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